Daily news roundups

Fine lines, rivalries, Vote Blake, locals in USOC 2nd round tonight, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference takes place today at 12:30 pm.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has quotes from Curtin speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s training session on whether he is satisfied with earning 2 points from the last two games:

I think the way the games went, we probably could have had six when you really break it down. But at the same time, you see a different group. You see a group that doesn’t concede a lot of goals. The goals we gave up, all three of them were pretty darn good goals, where you have to tip your cap to the other team. You look at LA, who I believe is the strongest team in the league, and I feel that Montreal is a top eastern conference team. So, to go there, in a tough environment, I don’t want to say that I’m happy, but it’s that fine line between being unbeaten and winless. We’re in that little trend right now where we’re three games unbeaten you could say. Or you could say we’re winless in three. I think it has a little more positive feel to it, these last three games. I think we’ve played pretty well. We’ve shown that we can not just survive games like that, but also take it to good teams for spells of the game.

PRO has announced the officials for Friday’s home game against DC United. Carrying the whistle is Jaime Herrera. Waving the flags are Adam Garner and Claudiu Badea. Getting yelled at by the coaches is Juan Guzman Jr.

At MLSsoccer, Dave Zeitlin reviews the “burgeoning” rivalry between the Union and DC United. Also at MLSsoccer.com, a look at how DC United was the team for some area soccer fans before the Union was founded.

Vote Andre Blake for Save of the Week!

Speaking of Blake, Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog considers who will be the Union backup goalkeeper when Blake is away on international duty with Jamaica in the leadup to the Copa America Centenario, John McCarthy or Matt Jones:

[I]t is unclear exactly when Blake will leave to link up with the Reggae Boyz, who are scheduled to play a friendly against a very powerful Chile squad at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos in Santiago on May 27th. Guenther Schaefer, the German trainer of the Jamaica national team, has already made it clear that he intends to have his full Copa America Centenario squad on hand for the friendly with Chile even though he will definitely not be choosing his strongest line-up…

The availability of Blake for the Union’s away match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday, May 25th, has to be viewed as questionable but it is all but certain that the 25-year-old former University of Connecticut standout will not play in Philadelphia’s MLS match against the Colorado Rapids on May 28th.

Hopefully we’ll get some answers about when Blake will be leaving the team in today’s press conference.

At the Union website, Marissa Pila has some notes from Tuesday’s training session.

Power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union come in at No. 3: “They’re a young team that still makes occasional young-team mistakes, as happened on the Didier Drogba goal. But they’re also a talented team that produces entertaining soccer almost every time out, and seem to be improving.”

Kevin Kinkead at Philly Voice, and Matthew De George at Delco Times, review the latest Zlatan Ibrahimovic nonsense. Brotherly Game asks if the Union should offer Ibrahimovic $20 million. Why not $25 million, I ask, or $30 million? They’re all equally likely.

Chicago has signed Michael de Leeuw from FC Groningen “as a Discovery Signing using Targeted Allocation Money. The Dutch forward signed a three-year deal through 2018 with a club option for 2019.” Why is this item in the Union section? Because of this sentence in the announcement from Chicago: “Per the league’s Discovery Process conflict resolution mechanism, the Fire acquired the right to sign de Leeuw from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money.” Great, now we can use that money to sign Zlatan! (By the way, Chicago Fire Confidential reports de Leeuw won’t be eligible to play for the Fire until July 4 after the opening of the summer transfer window, although he can train with the team before then.)

At the Union website, Matt Bodiford on the Union having the best Points Per Game average in the Eastern Conference.

Section 215 notes the Keegan Rosenberry buzz.

Philly Sports Network has perspectives drawn from the draw in Montreal.

US Open Cup

Three greater area teams are in US Open Cup second round play tonight. Amateur side West Chester United hosts professional side Harrisburg City Islanders at the club’s Turf Field (601 Westtown Road in West Chester) with kickoff at 7:30 pm. Tickets are only $5, with kids under 16 who are wearing an EPYSA youth club shirt gaining free admission. Previews at PSP, Harrisburg City Islanders, and Brotherly Game.

The game is scheduled to be streamed on the US Soccer YouTube channel:

You can also follow the action on the teams’ Twitter accounts (herehere, here, here, here, andhere.

Reading United is on the road to face NPSL-side Chattanooga FC, a team renowned for their very strong home support. Chattanooga Times Free Press has a preview.

The game kicks off at 7 pm and will be livestreamed:

If you are in the Reading area, the team will be hosting a watch party at PJ Whelihans. You can also follow the action on the teams’ Twitter accounts (@ReadingUnited and @ChattanoogaFC).

Bethlehem Steel FC

At the Bethlehem Steel FC website, Charlotte Muscroft has a good read on former Union man Fred’s transition from a player to a coach with the team. Brendan Burke says Fred brings something special  to the coaching role as a player: “Those player-to-player conversations in moments in training is the biggest piece for me. When we go to take a water break and say ´you did this, you needed to do this differently.’ He can have those 30 second conversations, that a coach can have too, but it means so much more to them sometimes coming from a peer who they respect.”

Bethlehem Steel will players will be taking part in a free clinic at the Easton Boys & Girls Club for kids aged 5-18 on Thursday from 6-8 pm. To register, call 610-253-5846 or email stars@fast.net.

Philadelphia Union Academy

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph recaps the Union Academy results from last weekend.


Ocean City Nor’easters has announced the signing of goalkeepers and field players for the inaugural season of its Eastern Development Program women’s team.

Penn 97 notes NPSL Keystone Conference side Jersey Blues FC has withdrawn from the league. Several area teams comprise the Keystone Conference, including Junior Lone Star, Buxmont Torch, Hershey FC, Electric City Shock, and New Jersey Copa.

Padua Academy (14-0-0, Wilmington, Del.) comes in at No. 1, and Caesar Rodney (13-1-0, Camden, Del.) comes in at No. 9, in the latest USA Today/NSCAA Super 25 Spring Girls for Region I.


Tonight’s midweek schedule features two Eastern Conference games, Toronto-NYCFC (7 pm), and NYRB-Chicago  (7:30 pm). Both games are on MLS Live and Direct Kick.

Columbus has acquired 19-year-old Panamanian midfielder Cristian Martinez through the rest of the 2016 season from Chorrillo FC of Panama’s first division.

ESPN on how rivalries are a key component to the league’s expansion plans. Fox Soccer has thoughts on the best future rivalries.

One of those future rivalries is Kansas City-St. Louis. InsideSTL.com reports USL side St. Louis FC has acquired PDL affiliate Springfield Synergy FC: “This is another step in the right direction for a potential future MLS franchise in Saint Louis in the coming years. Not only from the affiliation with the MLS’ Chicago Fire, but having its own development team will further the future success of Saint Louis FC.”


Jurgen Klinsmann says the team is hoping to discover what is behind Jozy Altidore’s recurring hamstring injuries: “It’s definitely an issue that kind of follows him. It’s something we’re all working hard on to get to the bottom of, to find the cause for these hamstring injuries. Where does this really come from? Is it training-related? Is it environmentally related? Is this lifestyle-related? A medical issue? Where does this come from? And hopefully all the people working with him find the cause … sooner than later.”

Klinsmann described Altidore being out with injury “a huge bummer for us.” SI considers the USMNT’s options with Altidore out with a hamstring injury.

MLSsoccer.com on important questions facing the USMNT ahead of the opening of the Copa America camp.

What’s at stake financially at the Copa America? SI reports, “Of the $21.5 million in total prize money for next month’s competition, $6.5 million will go to the winner while each of the quarterfinalists will get at least $1.5 million, tournament organizers said on Tuesday. ”

The Guardian wonders if Bayern Munich can become “America’s favorite football team.” I’m going to go with no.


The 2015-2016 Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla kicks off today at 2:45 pm, with coverage beginning at 2:30 pm on FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, and ESPN Deportes.

The AP reports, “France will deploy anti-drone technology to interfere with and take control of any flying machines that violate no-fly zones over stadiums at the European Championship, part of unprecedented measures to secure Europe’s biggest sports event since the Paris attacks in November.”

From The Guardian: “The FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has hired the Norwegian FA official Kjetil Siem as his new director of strategy to oversee reform – two years after Siem hailed Sepp Blatter as ‘a role model.’…The appointment comes days after Domenico Scala, the head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, resigned over fears new rules would compromise independence and impede investigations into corruption.”

Meanwhile, PA Sport reports, “Anti-corruption experts have criticised new FIFA president Gianni Infantino for weakening the independence of the governing body’s compliance and ethics committees at a crucial time in its history.”

UEFA will vote to replace the banned Michel Platini as president in September.

And finally, this is how a supporters chant is organically grown in the social media age. Love it.


  1. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    Gianni Infantino…. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

  2. The Realist Brian says:

    It will be tough for Bayern Munich to become America’s team when Dortmund has been scoping up US talent like Pulisic, Flores and rumored signing Emo Hyndman. I am super excited to watch that team, and that is how you tap the US sports market. Torres is training with the first team now by the way. That is two young US players.
    Sixers 1 pick, Phillies 1 pick, Eagles 2 pick, no love for the Union with the 2 and 3 pick from ESPN??? First time ever for a city to have that many top picks. The Union would be very well served to keep building momentum and sign a stud forward DP this summer to cement the deal and build a winning franchise, because Philly is about to have a wave a good sports (one can hope).
    I don’t know if I missed it, but I am getting excited that our academy is starting to produce players and they are getting professional experience with the Steel. Trusty, Conneh, Jones and RTP (with Mark MacKenzie not playing yet) getting to play against men is the fastes way to develop young players where the speed of the game is faster. NYRB have been successful with this last year, and they signed a crop of them after they played in college. Now the Union are setting up to have some very good players coming through that they can sign and promote (like Jones who I believe will be an impact player… Maybe they are waiting for the green card with him?) I can see Trusty getting signed after his freshman year at UNC. Maybe sooner. Regardless, no more getting screwed over by the league with home grown players, and I love that we are producing kids from the Delaware Valley (and Georgia and Florida and the Carribean…). That will continue to build fan support unlike the other major sports in my opinion.

    • der Fussballzuschauer says:

      Wir singen und tanzen auf jedem Fussballplatz. Ein Schuss, ein Tor. Die Bayern! … Someone should probably inform the English author at the English newspaper, The Guardian, that traditional German juggernaut Bayern Munich simply do not care whether or not they are the most popular German club in the United States … Seku Conneh is certainly not a Philadelphia Union Academy product. The Liberian national team striker played his youth team football in Holland, including a spell with Ajax Amsterdam – who have been world famous because of their youth team program for decades now. Conneh is under contract to Bethlehem Steel FC after after leaving Dutch second division club FC Oss this winter – the Philadelphia Union have absolutely no ‘rights’ to Conneh at this point in time and are not entitled to any compensation if another MLS team signed the BSFC player tomorrow, next week, etc.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    The Union should probably offer Zlatan $15 million. I’m assuming that is more than anyone else in the league is making which IMHO immediately qualifies as a competitive offer and should qualify the Union for the $50K if LA wants to talk with him. If the league says no, then it’s time for the team to take the league to court for unfair trade practices.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Offer him a $15M to make sure that we get your $50k payment? I’m as annoyed as anyone in how MLS “rules” work, but that risk/reward equation makes no sense to me.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I don’t think there’s a lot of risk of Man U is offering $17 million. If LA is interested it would seem that they have to be offering more.

    • Maybe it’s worth a shot, but the obvious rebuttal from the Don is, “Do you actually have the $15 million? Because that is more than the combined salary of rest of your team…several times over. No? Nice try! Now run along and play…the adults are talking.”

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Too funny.

        Or maybe make the offer for “Ten Gazillion Dollars”? Mock up a giant replica check and send to MLS HQ. That will get the point across.

      • John Ling says:

        I actually wouldn’t mind seeing them take this sort of tact here, if they league is truly not going to follow the rules just because the Union “gamed” the system a little bit. They should totally go ahead and make a mockery of it.
        Sadly, though, without an owner like Mark Cuban I doubt this would happen…

      • pragmatist says:

        I now have Jay Sugarman dressed as Dr. Evil in my head…

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        It would really make me happy, and Garber infuriated, if the Union offered $25 million. I would love to see either:
        a) Garber wriggle is way out of it with BS excuses and/or rule changes
        (b) Begrudgingly and with true sadness & anger – announce the Philadelphia Union have signed Zlatan Ibramhimovic.
        I would make Garber’s face a t-shirt and give it – NOT SELL IT – everyone in Lot A (sorry other Lots – Lot A for LIFE!!) HA!!

  4. that wigan fan chant article is awesome

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